Mozambique’s president says wants to resume ties with lenders

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi said his government was committed to winning back the trust of international financial institutions and investors after a debt scandal that came to light last year.

The southern African country, one of the world’s poorest, has seen its currency and investor confidence collapse since April 2016, when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) halted a loan after a scandal over undisclosed debts of more than $2 billion in loans that were not approved by parliament.

Speaking at the launch on Friday of the new headquarters of the country’s second-largest retail bank, the BCI (Commercial and Investment Bank), Nyusi said that an independent international audit was advancing “at a good pace”, state media reported on Saturday.

Mozambique’s attorney general in November appointed multinational risk management firm Kroll to probe state firms that hid the loans from government and international creditors. The IMF has said it could agree a new aid programme with Maputo if the government made good on promises to renegotiate loans with creditors and allow an independent debt audit.

“The international audit is going ahead at a good pace,” said Nyusi. “Our government is taking initiatives seeking to re-establish relations with international financial bodies and with our bilateral partners.”

He urged the Bank of Mozambique, the country’s central bank, to implement measures “to strengthen the stability of the financial sector.”

Mozambique announced this month it would not make the $59.8 million payment to holders of its 2023 bond due on Jan. 18 because a deteriorating economic and fiscal situation made its ability to repay debt this year extremely limited.

Source: Nasdaq